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Wednesday, January 17, 2024 (virtual)

Attended: Ely Arnone-Earl, Jan Corn, Cara Fenstemacher, Denise Flihan, Cindy Hendrickson, Carol Mandour, Cindy McLean, Flossie Mitchell, Colleen Munger, Doreen Nicholls, Kathy Perra, Ellen Rainey, Janet Richmond, Michele Sheridan, Kelli Watson, Diane Wolfe

Excused: Debra Altdoerffer, Joanne Donaruma-Wade, Patrice Joslin King, Joanne Moskal, Kathleen Rutishauser

Absent: none

Quorum:  11

President Janet Richmond called the meeting to order at 11:32 a.m.

Minutes of the December 13 meeting were distributed to members prior to the meeting, and were approved on motion of Diane Wolfe, seconded by Cara Fenstemacher.

Correspondence: Janet Richmond reported on the following pieces of correspondence received:

  • A thank you email from Aileen Townsend for the gift we sent her in thanks for her board service;
  • A thank you note from the nurses at Clinton Central School for the period products provided by the Status of Women Committee; and
  • Letters accompanying gifts to the Ann Allen Scholarship Fund.

She also noted the sad news of the December 17 death of former board member and Treasurer Sandy Courto. We have received $900 in Sandy’s memory.

Talk Around Town:

  • Doreen Nicholls reported that the MVCC annual report mentions the support received through Isla’s Fund.
  • Ellen Rainey reported that she spoke with Tina Binaku of Young Scholars about the work that Status of Women is doing, and has connected Tina with Kelli Watson.

President’s Report: Janet Richmond reported:

  • The Executive Committee is discussing embarking on a strategic planning process this year. Preliminary conversations have focused on seeking grant funding to pay for an outside facilitator. A next step will be creating a strategic planning committee. Janet welcomes volunteers for that committee.
  • We have signed an agreement with the Community Foundation establishing the Ann Allen Scholarship Fund there.
  • In November 2023 we applied for $10,000 from the UpMobility Foundation for Women Investing in Women. Although we did not receive funds for 2023, our application is being considered for 2024 funding.
  • Denise Flihan has agreed to co-chair the grants committee when Michele Sheridan steps down.

Cara Fenstemacher moved to approve Denise Flihan as a member and co-chair of the grants committee, Diane Wolfe seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.

Executive Committee Report: No additional report

Treasurer’s Report/Finance Report

Cash Balances (Bank of Utica) as of 12/31/23                                  $ 53,644 (WF-Operating)

                                                                                                            $ 35,475 (WF – for AASF)

$ 10,236 (Annie’s Fund)

$ 15,443 (Isla’s Fund)

$ 50,000 (WF CD 11/24)

$ 50,000 (WF CD 5/25)

Cash Balances (Adirondack Bank) as of 11/30/23                             $  24,167 (WF-Operating)

                        TOTAL CASH                                                                                  $238,965

Baird Investments as of 12/31/23                                                                   $219,539 (WF)

                                                                                                                        $109,681 (AF)

                        TOTAL AT BAIRD                                                                          $239,220

Community Foundation as of 9/30/23                                                            $375,318 (WF)

                                                                                                                        $  22,730  (AF)

                        TOTAL AT CF                                                                                 $398,048

TOTAL INVESTMENTS                                                                                        $727,268

TOTAL CASH AND INVESTMENTS                                          $966,233

  1. Financial Statements 12/31/23
    1. Balance Sheet
      1. Cash Position 12/31/23 vs. 12/31/22:                   $238,965 vs. $190,135
      1. Investment Position 12/31/23 vs. 12/31/22:         $727,268 vs. $653,266
  • December donation summary:                            
  • Year-end gifts                                                 $  2,804

(incl. $600 McHarris stroll and $450 IMO Sandy Courto)

  • Board pledge payments                                  $. 1,900
  • Women Investing in Women                          $  8,000
  • Ann Allen Memorial Scholarship Fund         $16,500


Total                                                               $29,204

  • Board Pledges as of 12/31/23:                              $12,124 paid (100%)
  • Bookkeeping: We began working with Francesca Zumpano of Upstate Bookkeeping as of 1/1/24. She is very responsive, and we are seeing a much faster turnaround than we are used to. We will continue to use Scott Baur for our tax returns.


Grants: Michele Sheridan thanked everyone who participated in the December luncheon celebrating grant recipients, and also expressed thanks to all outgoing grants committee members. She further reported:

  • All 2023-24 grant recipients have signed their grant agreements. SUNY Poly is the only recipient that has requested funding so far.
  • Following our request to publicize grants, both SUNY Poly and Leatherstocking Boy Scouts Council have issued press releases announcing their grants.
  • MUCC has suggested a March site visit.

Cindy Hendrickson asked whether we have received a grant report from Legal Aid. That report has not been received; Cindy will follow up.

Annie’s Fund: Jan Corn reported:

  • Since the December report, Annie’s Fund has received two requests that were sent to the Committee:
    • The Committee approved a request from Catholic Charities of Oneida and Madison Counties in the amount of $1,020 to pay 1.5 months of rent for a woman who became ill and lost her job. She owes two months of back rent and will apply her unemployment benefits to the other half month of rent. She is actively seeking another job.
    • The Committee approved a request from ICAN in the amount of $1,034 to cover the first month of rent for a woman who left a domestic violence situation and is raising her two grandchildren whose parents are incarcerated. She found other resources to cover the security deposit and furniture she needs.
  • Flossie and Jan will meet with the 16 partner agencies on January 24. Thanks to Victoria who helped update the Partner Agency Agreement and all other forms for the meeting. In addition to covering the process of applying for Annie’s Fund grants, discussion at that meeting will include a review of the Partner Agencies’ responses to a survey sent in late 2023. Another agenda item at that meeting will be information sharing about funding sources for rent and security deposits. Flossie and Jan will also solicit names of potential committee members from the group.

Isla’s Fund: Doreen Nicholls reported that Herkimer College has submitted a request for transportation assistance.

Events: Cindy McLean reported that she will call a committee meeting next week to begin planning for “gatherings” to introduce new women to the Women’s Fund. Those events will take place starting in March. Colleen confirmed that we have a “stewardship” budget of $3,000 that includes funds for these gatherings. A brief discussion ensued about the pros and cons of holding gatherings at private homes vs. businesses.

  • Diane Wolfe offered to host one at her home once she is back in Central NY in April.
  • Denise Cavanaugh, Executive Director of the Herkimer Chamber, owns Raindrops on Roses B&B, which might also be a good venue. Cindy will reach out to Denise.

Development: Cara Fenstemacher reported that she will soon start working with Kathy Hartnett on the Mother’s Day appeal.

Nominating: Janet Richmond reminded the group we propose new board members in May and vote on their membership in June.

Public Relations: The new web site is in progress.

Status of Women: Kelli Watson reported the following from the January 16 committee meeting:

  • As a result of the tampons donated by board members in December, the committee will now be able to supply all schools in Oneida and Herkimer counties.
  • The committee will create a system to facilitate replenishing schools’ supplies.
  • Kelli is working to confirm the ongoing relationship with Women of Walgreens.
  • It is unclear if and how New York’s new health equity legislation will impact the availability of menstrual products in schools. For the time being, the committee will continue to distribute products locally.
  • Committee members have checked with the YWCA to confirm that the Period Project is not duplicating efforts or working at cross-purposes with the Y’s “period pantry,” and have determined that the two projects can work in tandem. Staff at the Y were pleased to learn about the Period Project.
  • Following questions at the November board meeting about the name of this project, the committee discussed a title:

Based on a recommendation of the committee, Kelli moved to make the official name of the current effort “Period Project.” Diane Wolfe seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.

  • Finally, since 2024 is a presidential election year, the committee is also exploring how it can revive the get-out-the-vote efforts that began (and the video that was created) in 2020.

Cindy Hendrickson noted that Legal Aid is experiencing a growing need for personal care products for women before they appear in court. The Status of Women committee has accumulated a lot of soap, shampoo, etc. that the schools cannot use. Kelli will coordinate transferring those items to Cindy for Legal Aid’s use.

Women Investing in Women: Ellen Rainey reported:

  • The first committee meeting of the year will take place on January 24.
  • One agenda item at that meeting will be a discussion of ways to collaborate with others in the community to do more to support women business owners.
  • Ellen, Kathy Hartnett, and Kathleen Rutishauser have begun talking about fundraising to secure the $25,000 in grants budgeted for 2024.

Ellen moved to accept Denise Cavanaugh as a member of the Women Investing in Women committee, Cara Fenstemacher seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.

Flossie Mitchell moved to accept all committee reports, Kathy Perra seconded, and the motion carried.



  • Patrice Joslin King will send compliance documents to board members this month.
  • The Community Foundation held a virtual Nonprofit Town Hall meeting on January 17. Ellen Rainey and Kathy Hartnett attended, and Ely Arnone-Earl presented. Takeaways from that meeting include:
    • The CF will use a new platform for accepting grant applications this year. It is the same platform that UpMobility Foundation uses.
    • It may be possible for the WF to use the CF platform to accept grant applications.
    • The CF will roll out a new fundholder portal this year. It should enable the WF to access more up-to-date financials. Ely noted that exact fund balances would probably not be available in real time.

Adjournment The meeting adjourned at 12:32 p.m. on motion of Cara Fenstemacher, seconded by Diane Wolfe.  

The next board meeting will be on Wednesday, February 21 at 11:30 a.m. at Hospice and on zoom.

Submitted by Ellen Rainey, Secretary